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Thu Dec 18 01:06:54 CAT 2014

Grief of Louise de Waal's family

RETHA GROBBELAAR | 20 October, 2011 00:47
Shireen de Waal, mother of the murdered Louise, is comforted by one of her sons, Justin, at the memorial service for Louise at her school in Roodepoort. File photo.

Louise de Waal's family is trying to "get through" one day at a time, her brother-in-law has said that after a memorial service for the murdered teenager.

Louise was abducted - allegedly by the man who has become known as the Sunday Rapist - on her way to school with a friend on Wednesday last week. Her burnt body was found on a farm in the Magaliesberg the same day.

Hundreds of friends and relatives, and pupils and teachers from Hoërskool Die Burger, in Roodepoort, attended the emotional service in a marquee at the school.

Louise's brother-in-law, David Agsteribbe, said the family was "trying to be strong and relying on each other" during the "difficult time". "It's been a long week. The family is still in mourning," he said.

Louise's funeral was held earlier yesterday.

A teacher and friends said Louise, who would have turned 17 on Sunday, was a "loving, soft-hearted and compassionate" girl whose "warm smile" would be missed.

Throughout the service her mother, Shireen, was comforted by her two sons, Jamie and Justin, who sat on either side of her.

Anna-Marie Heuser, Louise's Grade 11 maths teacher, said she was a hard worker who had a "big heart for everybody".

"What happened to Louise shocked the whole nation," Heuser said, adding that her death might have prevented a "criminal from raping and murdering more children".

Weeping, Louise's sister, Jessica du Toit, said: "We love and miss you, Louise."

Agsteribbe thanked the police and investigating officer Peet du Toit for "fighting the fight that the family can't".

Bronwyn Wheats, Die Burger's head-girl, read tributes from Louise's friends. They described her as "kind and caring".

"You were loveable to all. You opened your arms to those in need of a friend."

Louise's prefect's jacket - she was recently elected to the pupils' representative council - as well as the two certificates she earned for academic achievement and would have received at a prize-giving function next week, was handed to her mother by principal Basie Smit.

Prefects brought flowers to the front of the tent in which three pictures of Louise stood around a wooden cross. After the service, family members released six white doves and pink balloons into the air.

A man appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court on Monday. The police said he had confessed to being the Sunday Rapist.

The man faces at least 30 charges of kidnapping and raping teenage girls in Gauteng and North West.

The police know of at least 10 cases relating to the Sunday Rapist dating back to November 2008.

  • Sapa reports that a man was arrested yesterday for attempting to abduct an 18-year-old girl outside Louise de Waal's school.

The pupil was sitting on a pavement near Hoërskool Die Burger at 6am when the man threatened her with a screwdriver and tried to force her into the boot of his car, said Captain Pinky Tsinyane, but a security guard at the school saw the incident and alerted police.

The man fled the scene, leaving the girl behind. Police later caught the 21-year-old while he was driving.

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